James Anderson would happily accept the vice-captaincy for the Ashes tour if offered it.
With Ben Stokes, England’s official vice-captain, currently unavailable, Joe Root has confirmed he will name a deputy for the Ashes series in the next few days. That vice-captain will be expected to captain the team should Root be injured at any stage during the series.
Alastair Cook, who has captained England in more Tests than anyone, remains the most likely choice. But Anderson and, perhaps Stuart Broad – who used to be England’s T20 captain – are also sure to be considered. And while England may be reluctant to give the role to a seam bowler for fear that injury should cause further complications, Anderson feels he has long held a leadership role within the team.
“Of course I wouldn’t turn it down,” Anderson said. “In the last couple of years, I’ve seen my role in the team as a leader. It’s kind of your responsibility to be a leader. It’s part and parcel of the job as a senior player having played over 100 Tests.
“There are a lot of players on this tour who have not played in an Ashes series before and not toured Australia before. So our job is to try and help as much as we can. It’s kind of your responsibility to be a leader. With young bowlers coming into the team I’ve tried to help out as much as I can. I think it’s important that Joe has people he can rely upon.”
England arrived in Adelaide on Monday ahead of the first first-class fixture of the tour on Wednesday. The match, a day-night affair, will provide an opportunity to gain experience with the pink Kookaburra ball that will also be used in the day-night Test in the city at the start of December. England have played one previous day-night Test – at Edgbaston in August – but they used a Duke’s ball.
“I’ve heard the pink Kookaburra does swing a bit more,” Anderson said. “I guess finding out how much the ball swings and what time of day it swings will be really useful for us. We spoke to the South Africans in our summer and they said it was difficult for batsmen in the twilight period and when the lights came on.”
While Steven Finn and Moeen Ali remain unavailable for the game in Adelaide due to injury, the rest of the squad emerged from the warm-up game in Perth unscathed. They will train at the ground under lights on Tuesday.
“The couple of days in Perth was more about getting the cobwebs out and trying to get the body moving again,” Anderson said. “As bowlers we’ve got to find our feet and get overs in our legs quite quickly. It was a good run out for us.”
Anderson also revealed that he had watched “as much of the Australia team as possible” over the last year or so in preparation for the Ashes.
“The main thing is for us to focus on what we do well and our strengths,” he said. “But we need to know things about the opposition, so keeping tabs on them is a sensible thing to do. I’ve tried to watch as much as possible of the Australia team over the last year or so knowing that we had an Ashes coming up. I’m sure in the next couple of weeks we’ll do more research.”
Source: ESPN Crickinfo